Little Rippers – Riding with the Next Generation like Malcolm at Hellion Park

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Let’s face it…when you’ve been bitten by the mountain biking bug, it becomes your passion. You want to spend every free moment (and sometimes, every last dollar) getting your flow on. The yearning to rail some sweet singletrack courses through your veins.

But life is life and you get older. You get married. You have kids. You somehow don’t get to ride nearly as much as you want to anymore….

Until… you are able to pass that passion for riding to your young ones! Sure, it starts out easy enough…you take them around the block in a trailer, an iBert or WeeRide. Then (when they are in the toddler stage) you buy them their own set of wheels: a balance bike. After a few months of them paddling along, you finally get them a small bike with 10″ wheels and take them on light gravel or (gasp!) ‘paved’ trails. You groom them slowly and carefully, cautious not to let anything serious happen to them (nothing like a big injury to kill that passion, for them OR you.) Maybe you use a Trail-A-Bike or Alleycat to introduce them to more challenging, real dirt trails.

And then, it happens. After all that time and training and investment, it happens. They learn the skills, build the confidence and enjoy the ride JUST LIKE YOU!

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There is no finer example of this, then 4-year old Malcolm from Maine. Watch and listen as this little ripper tears it up at Highlands MTB Park in New Hampshire. Malcolm’s enthusiasm and sheer joy of riding is simply infectious and makes me want to go out and ride as much as any freeride/huckin’ video ever has. Thank you Malcolm and Dan (Malcolm’s dad) for this awesome and inspiring bit of mountain biking stoke! “Oh Yeah!”

Best Malc Quote: “I’m doing it! I did it, Dad! I loved it! I loved it, Dad!”

Funniest Malc Quote: “No, I don’t need to pee.”

Be sure to listen to Malc at the 7:00 mark as he eggs his dad to do the big drop…”Just like at home!”

And don’t forget! Saturday October 6th is Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day! IMBA has developed and coordinated this day to “share your passion for pedaling with kids”. This year marks the eighth year of the event and encourages parents and adults to get their kids outside for fun and exercise. Check the IMBA link to find a local “Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day” event near you.

Also, for more discussions about this topic, be sure to check out our Family and Riding with Kids forum. Right now, there is an active thread about “What’s the best way to motivate your kids or your spouse to ride?”

More Little Rippers>>

The progression that Malcolm has made just in the past 4 months is amazing! Check out this earlier video of Malcolm uploaded last May.

Malcs at Highland MTB Park
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Although he is the youngest we have seen, Malcolm is not alone. Below are videos of two more little rippers: 8-year-old Jackson Goldstone and 9-year-old Finn Finestone.

8 Year Old DH Rider – Jackson Goldstone
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Video Description:
“POV camera following 8 year old downhill rider Jackson Goldstone, riding Dirt Merchant at Whistler Bike Park”

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About the author: Gregg Kato

Gregg Kato studied journalism and broadcasting in college while working many different jobs including deejaying, driving a forklift and building web sites (not all at the same time). Kato has been the Site Manager of Mtbr.com for over 12 years and enjoys riding local Santa Cruz trails. Besides being an avid mountain biker, he is also a motorcycle fanatic. Two wheels, one Passion.


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  • Scott Linder says:

    I recently spent three days with my 8 year old son at Mammoth riding the mountain. It was absolutely a blast! We stayed in a cheesy Motel 6, with the goddy sheets..etc. He’s now ready to snowboard the mountain this winter!

    It’s a shame that too many boys don’t get to experience these types of events with their Fathers. Before these over-worked, over-weight dads realize it, it will be too late…and their boys will be grown and out of the house.

    Don’t let life get in the way of spending “quality” time with your sons and daughters.

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